6 Months Until Christmas Eve

24Hi Everyone!

Santa did something really unusual the other day – he sent every reindeer — even Blitzen — away from the North Pole.

There isn’t a reindeer to be found here right now.

That’s really unusual. In fact, I cannot remember a time when Santa has done this.

Why did Santa do this?

He felt it important that the reindeer spend time back where they came from. He sent them away and told them he would see them for Christmas. He doesn’t really know for sure when they will come back.

As we told you a few months ago Santa sends most of the reindeer away to ranches around the world but he lets them live completely free during that time. He has to wait for them to return to organize them for Christmas.

So all this is very unusual. But Santa says it is for the best.

I will keep you posted.

— Elf Ernest

7 Months Until Christmas Eve

1121Greetings, friends!

Santa sure is spending a lot of time working on his sleigh. He has been over in the sleigh barn night and day working on building a new sleigh himself. Elf Quinton and the boys over there are a little bored, to tell you the truth, because Santa is doing so much of the work himself. He has some very specific ideas about this year’s sleigh.

Unlike the past several years Santa is not looking at a radical new design. In fact, he is working with vintage sleighs a great deal. He has been test flying sleighs that he has not flown for decades and making notes on paper as he continues to work on a new design for this year.

As you know, Santa is always looking for ways to make the sleigh lighter, faster and capable of carrying more stuff. But this year he is spending a lot of time experimenting with different kinds of woods. I can tell you that Elf Quinton fears Santa will use wood in his sleigh this year. “Santa hasn’t used wood in his sleigh in decades,” Elf Quinton told me. “There is nothing wrong with wood but it is heavy and subject to problems if it gets wet and if there is a crash, well, there will be no survivors, that is for sure.”

We still have many months until Christmas so there is no need to worry. And, of course, Santa knows what he is doing. But elves here at the North Pole are starting to talk about the “sleigh business”, as they like to say. And there are beginning to get a little nervous.

I will, of course, keep you posted.

— Elf Ernest

8 Months Until Christmas Eve

12Happy Spring, everyone!

The snow here at the North Pole is finally starting to melt. We’re seeing some flowers starting to pop up here and there and pretty soon we will be able to count on more sunlight so we can plant in our greenhouses. It snows most of the year here at the North Pole so we do not really do yard work or have traditional gardens. But we still find ways to grow things.

A sure sign of spring for us is when the reindeer leave the North Pole. Most have been here pretty steady since last fall. But as the weather starts to turn they head out for the mountains in high country ranches that Santa has set up in many different areas of the world.

As we told you last month, Santa considers this annual trip away from the North Pole for the reindeer kind of like going to reindeer school. Their time on the ranches is very free. They live on their own, find their own food and keep themselves occupied. Elf Victor always gets a little nervous sending them away but Santa has long taught that we have to trust the reindeer and know that they will be back.

There are always a few reindeer that stay at the North Pole. Some, like Blitzen, just refuse to leave Santa’s side (he loves Santa a lot!). But most reindeer leave at this time of the year. Some think it is a vacation for them but Santa doesn’t think so. They always come back stronger, he says. The young reindeer grow up fast during these times away from the North Pole. And something about their time away makes them more devoted to the work of Santa and Christmas when they return.

While they are gone there will be a lot of work put into to upgrading the reindeer barns and pens at the North Pole. Santa has big plans this year because he expects thousands of more reindeer to return than came back last year. It always happens. Those young reindeer babies that are born on the ranches stay there until they are about two years old. When the North Pole reindeer return to the ranches they teach those babies how to fly. And they come by the thousands seeking work at the North Pole with Santa. Santa says he can tell by the way the wind is blowing that a big new flock of reindeer will be coming back in the late summer and early fall. And he wants to be ready.

What do the elves do at this time of the year who normally help take care of reindeer? What is there for them to do when the reindeer go away? Well, they’re elves. What do you think they do?

They make toys!

Imagine that.

Until next month, friends.

— Elf Ernest

9 Months Until Christmas Eve

7Merry Greetings, kids!

It has been a bitter winter month here at the North Pole. Lots of snow. Of course, that’s normal for March.

We cannot believe the number of letters we are receiving here at the North Pole right now. A lot of kids take a break from writing to us after Christmas but this year something is different — the questions keep coming in!

So, let’s get to the most common questions we’re hearing.

Cody, from somewhere in California, wants to know if the Big Building with No Name will be rebuilt this year. I had to ask Santa about this one. He said that once the snow melts a little later on this spring they plan to bulldoze what is left the site and remove all old building materials that are there. They will be turning that site into a new reindeer training ground. So, apparently, the Big Building with No Name will not be rebuilt. I guess that was a one year thing.

Berty, from Australia, writes to ask what the reindeer are up to. That’s a good question! The reindeer are all getting ready to leave the North Pole. Actually, some have already left. Where do they go? Santa has reindeer ranches all over the world. These ranches are all special places that help reindeer train and become strong. There are always a few reindeer at the North Pole year round but most leave for one of these special ranches. Santa likes to call them reindeer schools. We will give you more details about this next month.

Alexi, from England, wants to know about the plans for Santa’s sleigh this year. It is really early to talk about that but I do understand that Santa has been spending a lot of time with Elf Quinton in the Research and Development Department. I don’t know why but they seem to be obsessing about a sleigh from 1888. They have actually been test flying that antique sleigh and designers have used it in the design studio to draw up the first plans for Santa’s new sleigh. I am sure we will be hearing more about this story as the year goes on.

We have many, many other questions from folks all over the world. Most want to know about what we are doing at the North Pole. To be honest, it is a busy work period here. We get a lot of stuff done during these months and everyone is working hard. Believe it or not we spend a great deal of time getting Christmas decorations made at this time of year. We have been painting ornaments, testing new types of lights, and playing with new materials to make stockings.

We hope your year is going by well and that those of you in school are studying hard. Good hard work is healthy for you!

We will check in with you in another month!

— Elf Ernest

10 Months Until Christmas Eve

30You think that YOU have a lot of snow? You should see it at the North Pole right now!

Of course, we’re used to a lot of snow. But today we’re celebrating 10 months until Christmas Eve by taking a snow day. Can you believe it? Only ten months until Santa flies again!

A snow day at the North Pole does not happen very often. In fact, it only happens on average maybe once every five or six years. We are used to getting a lot of snow at the North Pole. So honestly the only time work stops here because of snow is when Santa just wants to go out and play in the stuff.

Early this morning the emergency whistle here at the North Pole sounded. It is a special whistle that means “all stop”, meaning stop working and listen for an important announcement. Santa blew that whistle and said work was over for the day and that all would assemble outside soon for “snow duty”. And that means just one thing: a massive snowball fight.

Mrs. Claus, believe it or not, loves snowball fights. It means the elves can make as big a mess as they want because it is all outside and there is only snow.

So it is a fun day for us.

We know there will be serious business to get back to tomorrow. But for today, we’re messing around in the snow that has piled high here at the North Pole since Christmas. We have at least two more months of winter here so we expect a lot more snow before we start to see the signs of spring.

Work on Operation Merry Christmas 2015 continues at a brisk pace. We are told things are going well. For those asking, no — the reindeer have not left the North Pole for the season. That comes maybe a month from now. They are all still here. And no, Santa does not yet have a new sleigh to test fly. But thanks for asking.

— Elf Ernest